MANILA, Philippines -- Charles Dimaano scored the game's biggest basket in the final 56 seconds as De La Salle-Zobel outlasted Ateneo de Manila High School, 70-65, to rediscover its winning ways in the UAAP Season 85 high school boys basketball tournament Wednesday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
Dimaano scored 12 points, including a lay-up that gave the Junior Archers the needed separation at 65-61, and grabbed 11 rebounds.
"Puso lang at stick to the system with coach Boris (Aldeguer)," said Dimaano, a native of Santa Rosa, Laguna.
The Blue Eagles tried to turn things around late in the game but LeBron Nieto missed a three-pointer in the final seven seconds that would have tied the game at 68-68.
With its second win in six games, De La Salle-Zobel tied its victims and UST in fourth to sixth places, still well within the top-four range.
"Aside from playing against Ateneo, it is an important game for us who we are gonna play because we are already at 1-4, deep in the hole. It so happened that the important game is against Ateneo," said Junior Archers coach Boris Aldeguer.
"That was the goal, to beat Ateneo if we wanted to still make it to the Final 4," he added.
De La Salle-Zobel was coming off a tough 71-74 loss to three-peat-seeking Nazareth School of National University, which Aldeguer said was used as a springboard for this victory.
The Junior Archers gave the Bullpups fits before falling short of a major upset last Sunday.
"Kailangang maganda ang laro natin sa NU kasi...NU we know, among the top three, they are really hard to beat. We just wanted to compete that game so when we play Ateneo, the team na medyo patas naman kami, medyo maganda ang confidence going to that game," Aldeguer said.
"I think malaking bagay 'yung ginawa namin sa NU coming to this game," the added.
Shad Chang led the Junior Archers with 14 points, while Ryhie Melencio also had a double-double outing of 12 points and 12 rebounds.
De La Salle-Zobel hopes to score its first winning streak of the season against UP Integrated School on the final day of the first round on Sunday.
Third Ebdane took the scoring mantle for the Blue Eagles with 16 points while Nieto had 15 points, four boards, three steals, and three assists.
Meanwhile, John Rey Pasaol dropped 20 points while VJ Pre had 13 points and 14 boards as Far Eastern University (FEU)-Diliman subdued University of Santo Tomas, 79-69, to remain level with Adamson University in the second spot at 5-1.
The Baby Tamaraws fended off repeated Tiger Cubs uprisings in the second half to prevail.
FEU-Diliman coach Allan Albano hopes that his troops will deliver a better outing heading into this Sunday's match-up against titleholders Nazareth School of National University.
"Marami kaming kailangang improvements sa defense namin," said Albano. "Pero I congratulate pa rin 'yung mga players na sa dulo, sumunod sila sa Plan B namin."
Mark Llemit paced the Tiger Cubs with 17 points and five rebounds while JP Pangilinan and James Jumao-as each scored 15 points.
DLSZ (70) -- Chang 14, Dimaano 12, Melencio 12, Espina 11, San Agustin 7, Pabellano 7, Melecio 6, Cruz 1, Sta. Maria 0.
Ateneo (67) -- Ebdane 16, Nieto 15, Porter 9, Santiago 7, Salandanan 7, Domangcas 5, Adevoso 2, De Guzman 2, Urbina 2, Prado 0, Delos 0, Santos 0, Arada 0, Aguirre 0, Tupas 0.
Quarterscores: 12-19, 39-31, 57-48, 70-65
FEU-D (79) -- Pasaol 20, Pre 13, Miranda 11, Herbito 8, Mongcopa 7, Salangsang 7, Felipe 6, Daa 3, Cabonillas 2, Pascual 2, Cabigting 0.
UST (69) -- Llemit 17, Pangilinan 15, Jumao-as 15, Bucsit 6, Ayon 6, Tesocan 4, Pantaleon 2, Miaco 2, Esteban 2, Manding 0, Velasquez 0.
Quarterscores: 20-22, 46-39, 58-50, 79-69